Adrian Edmondson

Adrian Edmondson

Date of birth: 24-01-1957
The son of an armed forces teacher, Edmondson attended Yorkshire’s Pocklington School, before going on to study drama at Manchester University, where he met Rik Mayall and formed the partnership that was to become Twentieth Century Coyote. The pair took a show to the Edinburgh Festival in 1977 and on to London’s fledgling alternative comedy scene at the Comedy Store Comic Strip.

The comedians from that latter venue went on to make The Comic Strip Presents shows for the new Channel 4, and Edmondson starred in their 1985 feature film Supergrass.

That year, he also married fellow Comic Strip performer Jennifer Saunders and the couple now have three children: Eleanor, Beatrice and Freya.

His most famous role is of Vyvyan in The Young Ones, written by co-star Mayall, Ben Elton and Lise Mayer. And in 1983, Adrian toured with Mayall in Kevin Turvey and The Bastard Squad, and their double act The Dangerous Brothers was also a regular strand of Saturday Night Live.

Other credits with Mayall include Filthy, Rich and Catflap, three series of Bottom and the subsequent live tour and in 1991 appeared in the West End production of Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot.

And solo he appeared in Lawrence Marks and Maurice Gran's Snakes and Ladders, Doctors and Nurses and Jonathan Creek. In 2005, he joined the cast of hospital drama Holby City.

In 1996, he wrote his first – and so far only – novel The Gobbler. And he has directed pop videos for The Pogues’s Fiesta, Zodiac Mindwarp’s Prime Mover and 10,000 Maniacs’ Like The Weather.

He has more latterly been touring the UK with his band The Bad Shepherds; and in 2014 appeared in the West End play Neville's Island.

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The forgotten Adrian Edmondson and David Mitchell sitcom

Fan tracks down Doctors & Nurses episodes

It is a sitcom that will probably always remain a footnote in the careers of the comedians who starred in it.

Indeed, the hospital-set Doctors & Nurses is so largely forgotten that just 14 years after it aired, there is virtually no trace of it on the internet, despite its high-profile stars, Adrian Edmondson, David Mitchell and Mina Anwar.

At least until now. Because a David Mitchell fan has tracked down the missing sitcom, recorded on VHS from the original broadcast in January 2004, and posted it on YouTube.

Originally airing just a few months after the launch of Peep Show, the comedy starred Mitchell playing to type as the naive but privileged private doctor Toby Stevens, with Edmondson as his beleaguered NHS counterpart. Mina Anwar plays nurse Zita Khan, a possible romantic interest for Edmondson’s character, Dr Glover. Joanna Scanlan, Back’s Geoffrey McGivern and Not Going Out's Abigail Cruttenden all have minor roles in the comedy, too.

Rhianna Evans, who runs the Dose Of David Mitchell fan site, wrote: ‘I’d probably been searching for this since about 2008. I’d seen the odd photograph on the Radio Times website (long since deleted) and started asking around on message boards, contacting the BBC, emailing The British Comedy Guide and even trying to find contact information for Carlton as they produced/ funded it but absolutely nothing turned up.

‘So I gave up. But then occasionally I would take up my quest for Doctors and Nurses again. Still nothing ever happened though and I often wondered if this search was worth it? And also why this sitcom had seemingly evaporated with only the tiniest hints on the dustiest corners of the internet giving proof of its existence!’

But a fan site contributor using the handle @ChasquiPenguin said she’d got a few episodes on VHS, which turned out to be the full series.

Evans added that the sitcom – written by  written by Nigel Smith and Dr. Phil Hammond – did not deserve to be consigned to the dustbin of history.

‘There was absolutely no way this sitcom should have been lost to the point of near extinction and I’m so glad we were able to find it again. The main cast put in great performances and the characters are strong. It certainly deserved a second shot but as it was, told its story well across one series.’

Here is the first episode and the other five are available here.

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Published: 1 Jun 2018

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